Do you like to embrace all things cool and unusual when you visit a new city? If you’re a fan of the weird, wonderful, and outright offbeat, you will love exploring Budapest! In our city, the lines between cool and unusual blur in a mesmerising mosaic of history, culture, and atypical allure.
Of course, “cool” and “unusual” are subjective terms. A standout highlight for one person is forgettable for another. But with an incredible collection of extraordinary attractions and activities, Budapest generously caters to every taste. Our guided e-scooter tours in Budapest and Budapest e-scooter rentals can help you get to know our city better. The guided tours allow you to find your bearings early in your trip and immerse yourself in specific areas of interest with a knowledgeable local.
With e-scooter rental, you can then explore Budapest independently, visiting the places that have caught your eye—some of which you may find below! So, let’s get started on our recommendations for some of the best cool and unusual things to do in Budapest. If you have any questions for the E-Magine team, please contact us.
Note: As an honourable mention of cool and unusual things to do in Budapest, we’d like to recommend Budapest Walking Tours. Look out for the nighttime walking tour and the photoshoot tour.
Vajdahunyad Castle: Taking Inspiration from Dracula Himself!
Enter the realm of Vajdahunyad Castle, an eclectic masterpiece that embodies a stunning fusion of Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque architectural styles.
There’s an unreal, mystical aura to this remarkable place. You can find an eerie statue of the anonymous author of Gesta Hungarorum on the castle grounds, as well as a bust of Béla Lugosi, famous for his portrayal of Count Dracula in the 1931 horror classic Dracula. But the links to Dracula don’t end there! Vajdahunyad Castle was inspired by Count Dracula’s opulent home—Hunyad Castle—in Transylvania.
And last but not least, Vajdahunyad Castle was originally built out of wood and cardboard! This is because it was only intended as a temporary exhibition for Hungary’s millennial celebrations. But it proved so popular that a permanent structure was built in 1904. We visit Vajdahunyad Castle on numerous E-Magine adventures, including the Budapest Heroes’ Square Tour and the Ride, Eat, & Love Budapest Tour.
Terror Háza: An Immersive Journey into Budapest’s Dark Past
If you’re a history buff, Terror Háza, or “House of Terror”, offers a poignant yet captivating narrative. This museum stands as a haunting reminder of Budapest’s and Hungary’s tumultuous past, chronicling the dark chapters of Nazi and Soviet occupation.
The museum faithfully recreates the appearance and conditions in the building at the time of these occupations, providing a multi-sensory experience. The exhibits are thoughtfully curated, immersing you in the lives of those affected by and lost during these brutal regimes. Given the weight of the subject matter, Terror Háza won’t appeal to everyone. But for anyone with even a passing interest in recent history, this is an essential visit.
Are you already wondering how you’ll visit all the amazing places our city has to offer? We’ve got you covered! Read through our tips for getting around both sides of Budapest when you’ve finished here.
Golden Eagle Pharmacy Museum: A Fascinating Alchemy of Curiosities
Step into the world of a medieval alchemist’s lab complete with potions, remedies, and arcane curiosities! Located in the Buda Castle District, the Golden Eagle Pharmacy Museum is a hidden gem showcasing a collection of medicinal oddities from the Middle Ages.
From herbs in bowls and wet animal specimens in jars to shrunken heads and dried bats, the Golden Eagle Pharmacy Museum is a truly fascinating glimpse into a bygone era.
With its rich heritage and captivating beauty, the entire Buda Castle District is a joy to explore. For the complete experience, join our Buda Castle Tour in Budapest led by an expert local guide.
Shoes on the Danube Promenade: Budapest’s Poignant Memorial
Prepare to be moved by a symbol of remembrance and resilience at the Shoes on the Danube Promenade. This monument consists of 60 pairs of 1940s-style shoes sculpted out of iron.
The shoes pay homage to the victims of a tragic chapter in Budapest’s history. In World War II, thousands of people lost their lives on the bank of the Danube, and one of their last acts was to remove their shoes.
As you stand by the Danube’s edge, these haunting sculptures evoke solemn reflection. It’s a touching tribute to never forget the human cost of conflict and intolerance.
The Holy Right Hand: A Sacred Relic in St. Stephen’s Basilica
In the heart of Budapest lies the revered St. Stephen’s Basilica, home to an extraordinary relic—the Holy Right Hand of St. Stephen, Hungary’s first king. On a visit to the basilica, you can view this sacred treasure housed within an ornate golden reliquary.
The basilica itself is a marvel of neo-classical architecture and an absolute must-see. The Holy Right Hand simply adds a layer of reverence and history that truly captivates visitors. If you visit Budapest on August 20th, you can even see the mummified hand of St. Stephen leading the parade on St. Stephen’s Day!
Are you travelling to Budapest in spring, not summer? We think you’ll love reading our blog about the best things to do in Budapest in spring! It’s filled with local insights and inspiration for an unforgettable trip.
Red Ruin Bar: Quirky Nightlife Haven with a Communism Theme
For those seeking a taste of Budapest’s vibrant nightlife scene with a dash of eccentricity, the Red Ruin Bar beckons. As we have already seen in this blog, Hungary was once part of the Soviet Bloc, so Budapest understandably has a turbulent history.
While there are beautiful, poignant spaces for reverence, respect, and reflection, others embrace a humorous approach to poke fun at past troubles—and that’s exactly what Red Ruin does!
Tucked away in the heart of the city, this quirky, offbeat, communism-themed bar subverts propaganda with puns, pop art, and drink names. Set within a dilapidated building, its mismatched furniture, striking murals, and lively atmosphere create an ambience that’s both unusual and welcoming. Sip on local libations and immerse yourself in the city’s pulsating nightlife.
For an alternative nocturnal adventure while you’re in town, check out our Budapest Night Tour for another unique perspective of our city.
Flippermúzeum: Pinball Paradise in Budapest
Prepare to relive the nostalgia of vintage gaming at Flippermúzeum, a haven for pinball and arcade enthusiasts. This museum is located in the basement beneath a fairly normal residential building. But when you step inside, you’re greeted by rows of classic pinball machines! And best of all, they’re all in working order and playable.
Engage in friendly battles, marvel at the craftsmanship of these arcade marvels, and let the nostalgic tunes of pinball machines transport you to simpler, more vibrant times.
Flippermúzeum is located near Margaret Island, a peaceful, green oasis on the Danube that you can explore on our Budapest Margaret Island Fairy Garden Tour!
Labyrinth: A Historical Cave System Under Buda Castle Hill
Did you know that there’s a labyrinthine cave system hidden beneath Buda Castle Hill? Given its location underground, you’d be forgiven for missing it—but it would be a shame if you did! This is one of the most-loved and most-visited attractions in the Buda Castle district.
The Labyrinth is part of a sprawling network of caves and tunnels burrowing beneath one of the oldest parts of Budapest. You descend around 15m (49ft) below the ground, so don’t expect any phone reception! But this just means you can fully immerse yourself in one of the coolest and most unusual things to do in Budapest.
While the Labyrinth has many well-lit passages, some aren’t lit at all, so be prepared to use the light on your phone or bring a flashlight. This incredible cave system has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987. And legend has it that Dracula himself (Vlad Tepes, or Vlad the Impaler) was imprisoned here. But we’re sure he’s not still there…
Remember, our Buda Castle Tour in Budapest is the perfect way to discover the Castle District while riding a MonsteRoller e-scooter.
Explore in Style and Comfort with Our Budapest E-Scooter Tours
So, what are some cool and unusual things to do in Budapest? All these recommendations and so much more! These selected gems merely scratch the surface of our city’s offerings.
The E-Magine team is here to answer any questions you may have, so please feel free to contact us.